A friend of mine, Thorsten Linz of s1mplify who is one of the lucky bastards who get to live in Menlo Park posted an opinion piece on LinkedIn entitled „Within a Decade, Retail Banks will be Dead„. I actually think he’s overly optimistic: Retail banks are dead already. Except they haven’t noticed yet. It’s like the big brachiosaurs whose brain was so far from the rest of their bodies that they didn’t notice that someone had just bitten off their tail. Talk about being dead on your feet!
Linz describes the pathetic scramble banks are putting on to find a way to rescue their business model from oblivion by either transforming themselves into an Apple Store or a Starbucks Café. The reality, he argues, is that nobody need a bank branch anymore: Mobile banking apps do a much better job, and there are around 8.000 fintech startups in the U.S. alone busy eating the banks‘ lunch.
At thе recent Exроnеntiаl Finаnсе соnfеrеnсе in Nеw Yоrk Citу, which Thorsten attended, Pеtеr Diamandis, executive сhаirmаn and со-fоundеr оf Singulаritу Univеrѕitу, said that „finаnсе will be thе most disrupted induѕtrу in thе nеxt 10 уеаrѕ„. And he quotes Brеtt King, fоundеr оf the mоbilе banking арр company Moven, who ѕаid thе banking induѕtrу will experience mоrе diѕruрtiоn in the nеxt 10 years thаn in thе рrеviоuѕ 300 years.
Maybe somebody should tell the bankers…
My personal experience, which I added as a comment to his post, is that we’re there already.
Perhaps it would be better to turn bank branches into pizza parlors. After all, everybody likes pizza! And its easier to cater to individual tastes: just add some anchovies or leave them off! And while we’re eating we can all do our banking business on our smartphones!